Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder is a chronic condition marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development, that often continues into adulthood.
If you’re a parent of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, you know that it’s a myth that kids with ADHD can’t focus. In fact, their attention can be directed quite intensely onto technology they find fascinating, which includes cell phone games, texting, the internet, and social media.
A child who shows a pattern of inattention may often:
- Fail to pay close attention to details in schoolwork
- Have trouble staying focused in tasks or play and be easily distracted
- Appear not to listen, even when spoken to directly
- Have difficulty following through on instructions and fail to finish chores or work
- Have trouble organizing tasks and activities
- Avoid or dislike tasks that require focused mental effort like homework
A child who shows a pattern of hyperactive and impulsive symptoms may often:
- Fidget with or tap his or her hands or feet, or squirm in the seat
- Run around or climb in situations when it’s not appropriate
- Have trouble playing or doing an activity quietly
- Have difficulty waiting for his or her turn
- Talk too much or Interrupt or intrude on others’ conversations, games or activities
Most times, attention span often depends on the level of interest. The same is true about hyperactivity. Young children are naturally energetic — they often are still full of energy long after they’ve worn their parents out. In addition, some children just naturally have a higher activity level than others do.
Factors that may be involved in the development of ADHD include:
- Genetics. ADHD or any other mental health disorder can run in families, and studies indicate that genes may play a role.
- Environment. Certain environmental factors, such as lead exposure, may increase risk.
- Development. Problems with the central nervous system at key moments in development may play a role.
- Exposure to environmental toxins — such as lead, found mainly in paint and pipes in older buildings
- Maternal drug use, alcohol use or smoking during pregnancy
- Premature birth
Tips for Carers: To help reduce your child’s risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder:
- During pregnancy, avoid anything that could harm foetal development, like alcohol, use of recreational drugs or smoking cigarettes.
- Protect your child from exposure to pollutants and toxins, including cigarette smoke and lead paint.
- Create a daily routine for your child with clear expectations that include things like bedtime, morning time, mealtime, simple chores and short TV time.
- Avoid multitasking when talking with your child and make eye contact when giving instructions.
- Work with teachers and caregivers to identify problems early, to decrease the impact of the condition on your child’s life.
- Treatment typically involves medications and behavioural interventions. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference in outcome.
Tips for Children with ADHD
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Limit daily screen time from phones, computers, video games and TV.
If you’re concerned that your child shows signs of ADHD, Call Healthboxes on 09091111129 or 08097560000 to Speak to a Doctor and Book an Appointment with a Specialist.